People love gadgets, and they especially love bringing them to work. Having his/her own device at work instills a sense of independence from the IT department. The BYOD movement has been growing legs for a while, and this year may be the year it explodes thanks to the release of Windows 8.
IT departments have been grappling with handling workers' devices from day one. The desire to control access to corporate resources has kept IT staffs up at night with the thought of all these mobile devices coming to work.
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It doesn't bother IT people that workers are bringing in different types of gadgets, primarily smartphones, laptops, and tablets. No, the core of the problem has been the different mobile platforms that run them. Android and iOS are the main OSes running the gadgets that workers embrace and each brings its own concerns with allowing access to the corporate environment.
The release of Windows 8 and RT, while adding another layer of support concerns, may be the catalyst for an explosion of BYOD. It is Windows after all and that's already supported well by the corporate environment.
Microsoft nicely kick-started this BYOD explosion with its Surface tablets. These semi-laptop/ tablet devices will fit right into the corporate world and give workers a new option when it comes to bringing a gadget to work.
They are tablets that do real work as Surface enthusiasts are quick to point out, and that's what has excited IT folk I've spoken to. These gadgets from Microsoft are downright easy to incorporate in existing enterprise systems compared to the others. It's a win-win situation for both workers and employers.
Don't be surprised when BYOD takes off this year. The introduction of Windows 8 tablets, laptops, and hybrids are going to trigger workers bringing them to the office. This should result in a big increase in the number of employees doing so.
While Windows 8 gadgets will result in the rise of BYOD, it won't stop there. Companies will see first-hand the benefits that can be gained by having happy workers supply their own gear. This will cause enterprises that have been on the fence as far as BYOD is concerned to make a better effort to make it work for all devices/ platforms.
This year will be the year of BYOD and everyone will benefit from it.